Bereavement and Children

Looking for "Bereavement and Grief Resources" for Children coping with Loss?
Consider these Heartfelt Stories about family, friendship, loss, and change.


The Dragonfly Door
A Heartfelt Story about Loss and Change
by John Adams / illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson

"The warm, emotional colors ... illustrate this highly recommended picturebook for sharing the bittersweet realities of life with young people."
-- The Midwest Book Review ______________________________

Some Customer Comments:

  • "It's a beautiful story, put simply enough to help young people think less fearfully about death and what happens to their loved ones when they leave this life on earth. The bright pictures captivate the young eye and the sweet story holds the reader's attention. My granddaughter loves hearing me read it to her, after her grandfather died. Thank you for writing it."

  • "In 1998, my father died of cancer; and I never really understood why he left and when I would see him again. About January of '07 I stumbled across this book, and in reading it I found that I really did always have the answers to those and other questions that I had, it just took time for me to realize and understand. And this book really helped me to do that, and others will benefit from The Dragonfly Door....Thank you so much for working so hard on this wonderful story." 

  • "I took my granddaughter to the Cecil Day Butterfly House at Calloway Gardens in Georgia to share the book with her. She does not share her feelings about her dad's death easily, but after we read the book, she said that she sometimes heard him talking to her just as Nym heard Lea. Thank you for that moment when she opened up a little bit." 

Read more comments and reviews ...


Let this award-winning book help children identify the beauty and hope in all cycles of life as they follow two insects, Lea and Nym, and the struggles Nym endures when her friend disappears from their underwater home in the marsh. The Dragonfly Door is a tender story about loss and change, written to help parents and adults express their views about life and death.

For Teachers or Counselors:

  • Adults who work with children find this book helpful because it encourages some children to talk about their unique feelings associated with a loss or change.
  • Children may identify with Nym, who grieves the loss of her friend, and find it easier to express their feelings about a loss after hearing the story.
  • Some teachers follow-up with a discussion either one-on-one, in-class, or through a writing assignment.
  • For those interested in nature, this book includes the real life cycle of the dragonfly at the end.
  • Download lesson plans for this book. 

For Parents:

  • Through a vision or dream, Nym learns that Lea has transformed into a beautiful dragonfly above the marsh.
  • Someday, Nym will see her friend again in this new world.
  • Parents and grandparents often interpret this as a metaphor for heaven or as an analogy to life after death.
  • In this way, the core message of the story becomes one of hope for those who grieve the loss of someone.
  • See a child psychologist's comments to parents about this book.

The Dragonfly Door may serve many purposes, such as comforting a grieving child or providing facts about dragonflies. Beautifully illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson, the book is cherished by parents, grandparents and teachers.


While Nym slept, she heard Lea's voice saying, "Follow me, Nym. I'm going to show you where I am." "Will I see you again?" Nym asked. "Only when it's time for you to die too," Lea replied. "You won't see me in the marsh ever again. But let me show you what I will look like the next time you see me. Here, close your eyes." Nym closed her eyes. "Now look at me," Lea said. Nym opened her eyes and saw ...


The Dragonfly Door
US $17.95 / Hardcover
40 pages, Ages 5 to 9
Publish Date: January 2007
ISBN-13: 978-1-934066-12-6
ISBN-10: 1-934066-12-5

Where to buy this book ...
Learn more about this book ...

  Winner Mom's Choice Awards
  Winner Evelyn Thurman Book Award
   Winner Benjamin Franklin Award
   Finalist National Best Books Award

The Dragonfly Secret
A Story of Boundless Love
by Clea and John Adams
illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson

The Dragonfly Secret is a heartwarming story for family members who have lost a loved one.


"This is an outstanding read. Well done in every area, story, and illustrations....Truly a precious gift to be given to any who are hurting from the loss of a loved one."
-- The Midwest Book Review

Some Customer Comments:

  • "As soon as I started reading it, I knew where it was going, and I started to cry. As I read each line and looked at the beautiful illustrations, my heart became filled with so much emotion. I felt as if you had written our story."

  • "Beautiful story with beautiful message….I suspect it will leave young readers with questions about death and its permanency – which is likely your goal."

  • "A heart-warming and very poignant tale that provides a wonderful way to begin to talk to children about death and grieving."

  • "What a book. I lost my mother years ago. I have always thought that the hummingbird that came around me was my mother. Thanks for hope."

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This beautifully illustrated children’s book will open doors for families grieving a loss or searching for a message of love and hope. A story of a chance encounter between a mysterious boy and a dragonfly, the reader journeys through a beautiful garden with the dragonfly in search of the boy’s secret. In the end, the secret is revealed, gently reminding us that memories of a loved one are forever and offering a moving message of comfort and love.

Discover the power of boundless love in this heartfelt story about friendship, family, and remembrance. Beautifully illustrated, The Dragonfly Secret gently encourages children and adults to explore life’s infinite possibilities. Because of it, readers may look at nature in an entirely new light.


Lea explored other parts of the garden. She looked under a picnic table and peeked inside the gardener's tool shed. Suddenly, Lea felt a strange stillness. The birds and insects were quiet. Someone nearby was crying. Lea flew cautiously toward the sound. A woman sat on a wooden bench in the corner of the garden. Lea could see her face wet with tears. The light around the woman seemed dim. For a moment, Lea's wings felt very heavy. She, too, felt sad. This must be what the woman feels, she thought. The woman continued to cry. Uncertain of what to do, Lea made her way to the branch of a nearby tree. She looked at the woman. Something caught her attention. Beside the woman on the bench was ...


The Dragonfly Secret
Publish Date: October 2008
US $16.95 / Hardcover
32 pages, Ages 8 to Adult
ISBN-13: 978-1-934066-13-3
ISBN-10: 1-934066-13-3

Where to buy this book ...
Learn more about this book ...

  Winner Mom's Choice Awards
  Medalist Moonbeam Award
  Finalist National Best Books Award
  Finalist Benjamin Franklin Award